Essays

Urban life, in the first person

Courtesy of GrokHome

What It's Really Like to Live in a 'Dorm for Adults'

I live in a “hacker house,” but I’m not a tech bro. Here’s why it’s not so crazy to share a home with 17 roommates.

Mike Reddy

On Being Latina a Long Way From Home

Moving from L.A. to D.C. taught me a lot about losing and rebuilding my identity.

Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Seoul Searching in San Francisco

I was born in Seoul, but raised in Nebraska. I didn’t reconnect with my roots until I arrived in the Bay Area.

Julian Spector/CityLab

What I Learned Installing Solar Panels

It was easier than I thought.

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division/Mark Byrnes/CityLab

Eating My Way Through Israel

How a new kind of comfort food helped me settle in to life abroad.

f8grapher/Shutterstock.com

The Best Thing About San Diego Is...Tijuana

Across the border, I found a vibrant scene that helped me appreciate California.

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division/Mark Byrnes/CityLab

Finding a Familiar Shore

Wandering along New York’s waterfronts helped me adjust to life in the city.

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division/Mark Byrnes/CityLab

At Home Among the Stacks

How seeking out used bookstores helped me find my way through unfamiliar cities.

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division/Mark Byrnes/CityLab

What the 'Freedom' of a Car Means to Me in a City Where Everyone Drives

Compared to the subway I was used to, driving in Seattle was freeing—but it was also lonely.

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division/Mark Byrnes/CityLab

A Pilgrim in Chicagoland

I didn’t feel at home in my new city until I became a tourist in my old one—and brought back the souvenirs to prove it.